Throw it back to the classics: Jumping Rope

May 14th, 2020
Jumping Rope
Looking to add some variation to your home workouts during the quarantine but running out of ideas? 

Jumping rope shouldn’t be overlooked! This activity, which may spark memories of recess during school, is a simple way to increase your heart rate and improve both your cardiovascular endurance and body composition.

Jumping rope is a readily available exercise that does not require much equipment, space, or time. It is a great way to burn calories even if your schedule is packed during the day.

Jumping rope is an effective way to improve your cardiovascular efficiency that does not require logging mile after mile on the treadmill. A study compared the effectiveness of jumping rope vs running by performing six weeks of daily 10 minute jump-rope exercise. It showed that a “10 minute daily program of rope skipping is as efficient as a particular 30 minute daily program of jogging for improved cardiovascular efficiency1. This study has been widely utilized to demonstrate the effectiveness of jumping rope.

Additionally, using jump ropes can be an effective way to improve body composition in overweight and obese populations. Two studies that both had 12-week jump rope programs demonstrated decreases in body fat percentage, improved pulmonary function, improved insulin resistance, and improved blood glucose levels 2,3

Jumping rope may be a little easier on the joints than running and is a great way to get the entire body involved in your workouts. You can use it as an individual cardio workout or even add it to the end of your strength workouts to increase your heart rate and burn a few more calories.

If you haven’t skipped rope in a while that is okay. Start simply with a 2 footed jump and try to get the hang of the motion. From there you can get creative incorporating single leg hopping, alternating hopping, forward or even backwards hopping. This is also a great activity to do with your family, especially as the weather gets better and better. 

Jumping rope is a cheap way to get a quality workout that improves endurance, body composition, and heart health!

Once you get the basic skips down, you can incorporate them into a routine. Below is a video of our Physical Therapist, Tom going through a jump rope circuit that lasts roughly one minute:

  • 25 double leg skips
  • 50 alternating skips
  • 20 double single leg skips alternating
  • 30 double leg skips

You can rest for 1 minute and repeat 3 – 4 times. As your endurance improves, your rest breaks can move towards 30” with the goal of completing the above routine as many times as you can within 10 minutes!

Contact us for more information regarding our virtual personal training and physical therapy options.

Written by Thomas Dyke Physical Therapist and Orthopedic Clinical Specialist on May 13, 2020.


1: John A. Baker (1968) Comparison of Rope Skipping and Jogging as Methods of Improving Cardiovascular Efficiency of College Men, Research Quarterly. American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 39:2, 240-243, DOI: 10.1080/10671188.1968.10618043

2: “The effects of a 12-week jump rope exercise program on body ….” 28 Jan. 2020, Accessed 6 May. 2020.

3: “The effects of dance music jump rope exercise on pulmonary ….” 10 Aug. 2017, Accessed 6 May. 2020.

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